By Jessica EckerlyThe Florida legislature passed a law Thursday that gives local police the power to take the property of companies suspected “of having fabricated or disseminated false or misleading information.”
The Florida Attorney General’s Office is now in charge of enforcing the law.
The Florida Supreme Court is now reviewing the law, which was passed in a bill that was sponsored by Republican Sen. Joe Negron.
The law requires that the local police chief notify the Attorney General of the companies that are suspected of fake news, fake drug use, or fake business plans.
The bill, HB 2636, passed the House by a voice vote in March and the Senate unanimously in May.
It now goes to Gov.
Rick Scott for his signature.
According to a press release, the law says: “A local law enforcement agency shall have authority to enforce this subsection when it is reasonably believed that a business is engaged in conduct constituting fake news or fraudulent activities or has engaged in a false advertising, false advertising or false advertising by the use of false or fraudulent material.”
The law does not give the state attorney general the authority to seize property or to revoke contracts with businesses suspected of having fake news.
The law only requires that a local police department notify the AG of any suspected fake news activity or false advertisement.
The local police would also be allowed to investigate businesses that allegedly falsified or disseminate fake news to the public.
According an official statement from the Florida Attorney Association, the Florida law will protect the “free flow of information, facts, and facts-based information in the public interest.”
The association is calling on the governor to veto the bill, saying the bill “will make it even harder for the government to hold accountable people who commit serious crimes.”
The bill passed the Senate and Gov.
Scott signed it into law.